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Callaloo

Robert Crawford, 20 April 1989

Northlight 
by Douglas Dunn.
Faber, 81 pp., £8.95, September 1988, 0 571 15229 5
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A Field of Vision 
by Charles Causley.
Macmillan, 68 pp., £10.95, September 1988, 0 333 48229 8
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Seeker, Reaper 
by George Campbell Hay and Archie MacAlister.
Saltire Society, 30 pp., £15, September 1988, 0 85411 041 0
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In Through the Head 
by William McIlvanney.
Mainstream, 192 pp., £9.95, September 1988, 1 85158 169 3
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The New British Poetry 
edited by Gillian Allnutt, Fred D’Aguiar, Ken Edwards and Eric Mottram.
Paladin, 361 pp., £6.95, September 1988, 0 586 08765 6
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Complete Poems 
by Martin Bell, edited by Peter Porter.
Bloodaxe, 240 pp., £12.95, August 1988, 1 85224 043 1
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First and Always: Poems for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital 
edited by Lawrence Sail.
Faber, 69 pp., £5.95, October 1988, 0 571 55374 5
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Birthmarks 
by Mick Imlah.
Chatto, 61 pp., £4.95, September 1988, 0 7011 3358 9
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... Where do you come from?’ asks one of the most important questions in contemporary poetry – where’s home? Answering the pulls and torsions of that question produces much of the verse of Heaney, Harrison and Dunn, but it also produces very different kinds of poetry. Martianism had nothing to do with Mars, everything to do with home, the place where Craig Raine (like Murray or Dunn) feels richest ...

D.H. Lawrence and Gilbert Noon

Michael Black, 4 October 1984

... for the first time, as a volume in the Cambridge Edition of the Letters and Works of D.H. Lawrence.* It is an unfinished novel of 292 pages, of which only the first 93 have previously been printed. Lawrence wrote the book between May 1920, when he had just finished The Lost Girl, and some time in 1921. He gave up ...

Diary

Lawrence Hogben: Sinking the ‘Bismarck’, 19 April 2001

... north of Iceland. From there, the Atlantic and its convoys would be wide open. Lutjens had to sail without the battlecruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst, both of which were being repaired at Brest, and the Bismarck’s sistership, the Tirpitz, which wasn’t yet ready. He told a friend: ‘In this unequal struggle between the British Navy and ourselves I ...

Diary

Lawrence Hogben: The Most Important Weather Forecast in the History of the World, 26 May 1994

... Monday, Ike postponed the operation for 24 hours, only two hours before the main body was due to sail. So Monday was out, and the troops in their landing-craft tossed uncomfortably at moorings. The decision had been an emotional drain on all the participants, military and meteorological, and the whole nerve-racking process had now to continue for yet another ...
Joseph Conrad: A Biography 
by Jeffrey Meyers.
Murray, 320 pp., £20, July 1991, 0 7195 4910 8
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Joseph Conrad and the Modern Temper 
by Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan.
Oxford, 218 pp., £30, August 1991, 9780198117858
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... outing to the races at Longchamps; ‘black-eyed Susan’, the New Mexican cow beloved by D.H. Lawrence: these are the things that stay in the mind when diagnoses and depreciations are forgotten. Jeffrey Meyers, who has done solid biographies of Lawrence and Hemingway and has now done one for Conrad, is particularly good ...

Sink or Skim

Michael Wood: ‘The Alexandria Quartet’, 1 January 2009

Justine 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 203 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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Balthazar 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 198 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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Mountolive 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 263 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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Clea 
by Lawrence Durrell.
Folio Society, 241 pp., £19.95, January 2009
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... sobering thought for writers who have been trying to clean up their act during the day, but for Lawrence Durrell as for Conrad adjectives don’t come back because they never left. If there is a mystery in Conrad it’s inscrutable, if there’s a tangle in Durrell it’s inextricable. And to stay with the latter: if there’s a treasury it’s ...

‘Look, look, what ails the ship, she is upsetting’

Peter Nichols: The ship ‘Essex’, 8 March 2001

The Loss of the Ship ‘Essex’, Sunk by a Whale 
by Thomas Nickerson and Owen Chase, edited by Nathaniel Philbrick and Thomas Philbrick et al.
Penguin, 231 pp., £7.99, June 2000, 0 14 043796 7
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... and a half thousand miles from the South American coast in the vast, empty Pacific. They did not sail for the nearest land – the Marquesas, Tuamotu and Tahitian islands – which stretched from several hundred to two thousand miles away under their lee and would have made for easy downwind sailing. Afraid of encountering cannibals on these islands, they ...

Gentlemen Travellers

Denis Donoghue, 18 December 1986

Between the Woods and the Water 
by Patrick Leigh Fermor et al.
Murray, 248 pp., £13.95, October 1986, 0 7195 4264 2
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Coasting 
by Jonathan Raban.
Collins, 301 pp., £10.95, September 1986, 0 00 272119 8
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The Grand Tour 
by Hunter Davies.
Hamish Hamilton, 224 pp., £14.95, September 1986, 0 241 11907 3
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... beach or by taking minor trips or otherwise agreeable spells abroad: Henry James in France, D.H. Lawrence in New Mexico, Lawrence Durrell in Corfu, Michel Butor in Istanbul, Henry Miller in Greece. In December 1933, leaving his father in Simla and his mother in London, Patrick Leigh Fermor set off to walk from the Hook of ...

Bottoms Again

Jerry Fodor, 19 June 1997

The Woman and the Ape 
by Peter Høeg, translated by Barbara Haveland.
Harvill, 229 pp., £15.99, January 1997, 1 86046 254 5
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Great Apes 
by Will Self.
Bloomsbury, 404 pp., £14.99, May 1997, 0 7475 2987 6
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... the stuff of parody, and pretty heavy-handed parody. Lots of it reads indeed like an attempt at a Lawrence pastiche. Language lesson: ‘She nodded in the direction of its [the ape’s] penis. “Cock,” she said. The ape stretched out an arm ... and eased it under her dress. “Pussy,” she said hoarsely, enlightening him.’ But Høeg apparently intends ...

We shall not be moved

John Bayley, 2 February 1984

Come aboard and sail away 
by John Fuller.
Salamander, 48 pp., £6, October 1983, 0 907540 37 6
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Children in Exile 
by James Fenton.
Salamander, 24 pp., £5, October 1983, 0 907540 39 2
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‘The Memory of War’ and ‘Children in Exile’: Poems 1968-1983 
by James Fenton.
Penguin, 110 pp., £1.95, October 1983, 0 14 006812 0
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Some Contemporary Poets of Britain and Ireland: An Anthology 
edited by Michael Schmidt.
Carcanet, 184 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 0 85635 469 4
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Nights in the Iron Hotel 
by Michael Hofmann.
Faber, 48 pp., £4, November 1983, 0 571 13116 6
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The Irish Lights 
by Charles Johnston and Kyril Fitzlyon.
Bodley Head, 77 pp., £4.50, September 1983, 0 370 30557 4
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Fifteen to Infinity 
by Ruth Fainlight.
Hutchinson, 62 pp., £5.95, September 1983, 0 09 152471 7
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Donald Davie and the Responsibilities of Literature 
edited by George Dekker.
Carcanet, 153 pp., £9.95, November 1983, 9780856354663
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... in it – fact that comes through poetry but is not just concocted in its context. Come aboard and sail away is as zestful as all John Fuller’s collections, but like his novel in verse, The Illusionists, it delights anyone with an ear and a taste for poetry rather than for truths and tales that short-circuit the poetic, as they do in Pushkin’s Evgeny ...

Entrepreneurship

Tom Paulin: Ted Hughes and the Hare, 29 November 2007

Letters of Ted Hughes 
edited by Christopher Reid.
Faber, 756 pp., £30, November 2007, 978 0 571 22138 7
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... gunwales, pouring in on both sides, one man bailing like mad, the rest paddling & yelling, & our sail like a map of the world in giant rips and holes, and those fish, unbelievable, their eyes glaring like orange torches – colour of the orange on traffic lights & just as bright, actually lit from the inside, very eerie & mysterious, hours after they were ...

Why do I have to know what McDonald’s is?

Patricia Lockwood: Rachel Cusk takes off, 10 May 2018

Outline 
by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 249 pp., £8.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34676 9
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Transit 
by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 260 pp., £8.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34674 5
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Kudos 
by Rachel Cusk.
Faber, 232 pp., £16.99, May 2018, 978 0 571 34664 6
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... Cusk has glimpsed the central truth of modern life: that sometimes it is as sublime as Homer, a sail full of wind with the sun overhead, and sometimes it is like an Ikea where all the couples are fighting. ‘I wonder what became of the human instinct for beauty,’ she writes in The Last Supper, ‘why it vanished so abruptly and so utterly, why our race ...

Out of the jiffybag

Frank Kermode, 12 November 1987

For Love and Money: Writing, Reading, Travelling 1969-1987 
by Jonathan Raban.
Collins Harvill, 350 pp., £11.50, November 1987, 0 00 272279 8
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Original Copy: Selected Reviews and Journalism 1969-1986 
by John Carey.
Faber, 278 pp., £9.95, August 1987, 0 571 14879 4
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... of the aged Freya Stark proceeding down the Euphrates on a raft, and pieces about his learning to sail, and then doing so – down the Mississippi, round the British Isles, as more fully reported elsewhere. The book as a whole is as deftly constructed as Pritchett could wish: the splices are expert, and there are only a few repetitions. Raban is interesting ...

Where mine is at

Gordon Burn, 28 May 1992

Outerbridge Reach 
by Robert Stone.
Deutsch, 409 pp., £14.99, May 1992, 0 223 98774 3
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... an adolescent daughter who treats him with undisguised contempt, persuades Owen to set off to sail single-handed round the world in a gimcrack boat built for weekend jaunts. Some Emersonian strain is obviously intended here, some evocation of the venerable American cultural myth of continuous exploration, a sense of the archetypal American as an ...

Ackerville

Gary Indiana: Nymphomania, antic incest and metaphysical torment, 14 December 2006

Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker 
edited by Amy Scholder, Carla Harryman and Avital Ronell.
Verso, 120 pp., £10.99, May 2006, 9781844670666
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... reader back to her body in a way no other literary strategy quite does. The voices of Ronell and Lawrence Rickels are the driest in Lust for Life: Ronell’s because she articulates her grief over a friend’s loss in etiolated academic language interspersed with lachrymose, though sincere, intertitles; Rickels’s because, as a psychoanalyst, he is the sole ...

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